often do you wait for your GPS to figure out where you are?
be an actual GPS unit, and it might be an app, but it always seems
like there are a few seconds to wait or items to select in order
to get to the actual map. And I know what many of you are thinking…
GPS unit? A unit? A mounted in the dashboard… or funnier still
one you plug into the cigarette lighter… GPS unit? Of course
you’re waiting for that to acquire a satellite signal. Of
course you’re waiting for it to recalculate every time you
change lanes on the highway or make a turn (even a turn it told
you to make).
GPS unit? Of course you’re waiting for it to figure out
where you are.
an app? No. Those things will just lock in on you immediately
and you’re good to go.
get what you’re saying. I still occasionally use a GPS unit in
our cars that’s roughly ten years old and I haven’t updated the
maps on it in quite a while. It takes a mile or two of backroad
driving to get the thing through the startup cycle, never mind
actually reaching a point where it is showing a map that has my
location correct. So… yeah… ha ha, a GPS unit.
the app part of your observation…
an hour ago I got a message from the Waze app. Was telling me
about a traffic snarl in Orlando. And… umm… see, I was in Florida
about six weeks ago. I did use Waze a few times while we were
there, and haven’t used it since. Right now, I’d have to drive
a few hundred miles to get within one thousand miles of Orlando.
Waze traffic alert message? Not that helpful. Quite honestly,
only applicable because it thought I was in Orlando.
Waze is wonderful and fun and I like it. Really haven’t used it
much, as it was a recent addition to my phone. But so far, I’m
good with it and I will be using it in the future. I’m not writing
this to pick on Waze. I’m writing it simply because that alert
caught my eye. It’s far from the only funny message I get from
a wide variety of apps.
it’s my weather apps that get screwed up. I actually have a couple
of my phone. Even though most of them draw from similar sources,
I’ve found I like the presentation style of one better… but can
count on snow accumulation information better on another… and
in general the long-range forecast is better on yet another. So,
I do use a few of them.
thing is, if I happen to go on a trip of some type (and distance)
and don’t open the apps up after any of the significant drives
involved, it often takes them a couple of days to figure out where
I am. Arrive at my destination… get a nearby lightning strike
alert for a place hundreds of miles away. Drive back home… get
a frost warning for where I was. Gets to the point where I can’t
just scan the message quickly. I have to read the whole thing,
and at times even open up an app to figure out what the hell it’s
trying to say.
use a shopping app? I love those things—sarcasm alert—especially
when they tick me off to the high heavens with their pick your
local store features. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone
to open an app to access a coupon or looked up a store on the
phone’s browser, only to be forced along a process of activating
location services or adjusting my home store before it will let
me get a coupon or see a price.
me see if I have this right… the phone has a locator in it… the
damn thing can actually tell I’m standing inside the store… but
the app or the web site keeps trying to tell me I can pick a product
up this afternoon in a different store that I’m not even remotely
near. Well, that’s amazingly convenient.
do understand the basics of what is going on. Part of the issue
is that as things get faster and more convenient, we tend to forget
how slow and inconvenient things used to be. We get spoiled. Ten
years ago… five years ago… even a month ago… there might have
been times when I would have been out of luck because I didn’t
have a coupon or a way of showing an associate a lower price from
another place. Still…
remember reading a book by legendary baseball manager Earl Weaver
years ago. In it, he offered praise for umpires—which, if you
knew Weaver at all, you would understand the humor in that—while
also saying that although they did impressive work when you really
considered the numbers involved it wouldn’t stop him from wanting
them to do even better.
wise thought there.
items we have in our hands are amazing. Most of the current generations
of smartphones are more powerful than the computers that assisted
NASA in sending astronauts to the moon.
still doesn’t mean they always know if the lightning is actually
a threat to me. (And I wish they had warned me about the traffic
I did encounter while running my errands this afternoon.)